Bush Urges Free Elections in Pakistan

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Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf/AP.

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf faces turmoil in his country for siding with the U.S. Ivan Sekretarev/AP Photos hide caption

itoggle caption Ivan Sekretarev/AP Photos

At a White House press conference on Thursday, President Bush maintained he and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf see "eye to eye."

President Bush was asked whether he had confidence that Musharraf could effectively go after terrorists within his own country. Maintaining loyalty to Musharraf, President Bush said they share concern about the radicals and extremists in the country. He said he expected Musharraf to take "swift action if there is actionable intelligence inside his country."

President Bush also said he expects Musharraf to crack down on militants at the Afghan border and cooperate with the U.S. He refused to address whether the U.S. troops would go into Pakistan without permission from leaders there.

Musharraf has been under sharp criticism from opposition leaders in his country, mainly for his close relationship with the U.S. There have been recent attacks from Islamist extremists and doubt that Musharraf has control over his country. His government considered declaring a state of emergency to calm unrest, but has since said they will not.

When asked about the unrest, President Bush said he expected Musharraf to hold free and fair elections.



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